Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 19 April 2014

Stores see bumper St Stephen's Day

Thousands of bargain hunters flocked to high street stores on St Stephen's Day

Retailers across the country have reported their busiest St Stephen's Day in six years.

As thousands of bargain hunters flocked to high street stores and shopping centres yesterday, businesses recorded that sales were up by more than 20% compared to last year.

Retail Excellence Ireland said one retailer had done 50% of last year's St Stephen's Day turnover within the first hour of opening yesterday.

Chief executive of the retail industry body David Fitzsimons said the day could not have gone any better with both footfall and spending up from last year.

"After a somewhat disappointing December for retail, many businesses were carrying significant amounts of stock into yesterday's sales equating to very deep discounts, which a significant cohort of consumers responded to," Mr Fitzsimons said.

"We have noticed that savvy consumers are willing to postpone fashion, footwear, home and prestige and luxury brand spending into the sales period."

He added that a home renovation incentive scheme unveiled by the Government in October's budget will further encourage people into stores today, when all retailers nationwide start their sales.

He said the 13% tax credit offered to consumers on home renovation costs will be the "big ticket" for home spending.

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